Get to Know the People on Preston

Lori Mellor (Executive Director Preston Street BIA)

“I’m in my 13th year now and the big challenge for us was to get the beautification project. We’d had very little success. As I started to get to know my business owners, I found out 18 of our businesses were getting flooded every time we had rain. That’s because we had a hundred-year-old combined sewer. I sent a letter off to our ward councillor and I got no response whatsoever. Then I figured out a lot of business owners don’t vote down here. So I sent a newsletter to residents and I got 113 letters back. Suddenly we started to get some action. What happens when you get a new sewer is, once the city puts the street back, you get your beautification project. That spurred the development of a secondary plan for the area that would define the zoning, heights and density. That’s just recently been completed. It’s one of those be careful what you wish for scenarios. The BIA and the residents’ association agreed that all the height would be around the perimeter and we’d protect the village-like nature of the area. We were anticipating heights of 20 storeys along Carling, Rochester and Champagne. As you know, we’ve got 45 and 55 storeys. That creates all whole new series of concerns: How are we going to manage traffic? What about shadowing? Are we going to turn Preston into a cold wind tunnel? Those are our current concerns.”


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